JustFoodForDogs Dog Food Review

JustFoodforDogs has been a leading provider of fresh dog food since its inception in 2010—and with good reason. Offering fresh, human-grade meat and vegetable meals formulated by veterinary nutritionists, plus custom feeding measurements according to your pet’s specific size, age and breed, JustFoodforDogs makes giving your dog premium nutrition easy. All of their meals are backed by scientific study, and some are the number-one recommended meals by veterinarians in a national survey. 

Last Updated December 2022

JustFoodForDogs
Pros Cons
Human-grade meat & vegetable ingredients Portions aren't pre-measured
Custom feeding measurements for your pet’s specific weight, age, medical issues & breed Requires refrigerator & freezer space
Meals formulated by veterinarian nutritionists Shipping fee if you're not on a subscription plan
No preservatives or fillers
Fortified with fish oil & vitamins
Ships free with a subscription
Six recipe options to find the best flavors for your dog
Pause or cancel subscription any time
Shelf-stable options for when traveling
33 percent off your first order
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9.2

9.2

Save 35% Off Your First Auto-ship Order

Highlights
Fresh, human-grade meat & vegetable meals
Meals designed by veterinary nutritionists to meet NRC & AAFCO standards
Studied by universities for digestibility & nutrition
Meals cooked in a kitchen that exclusively makes JustFoodForDogs meals
Available in shelf-stable options for travel
Available as a subscription, or one-time orders that can be delivered or picked up in a store
Ships free with subscription; pause or cancel subscription anytime

What is JustFoodForDogs?

There is a dizzying array of fresh dog food options—all of which claim to be healthy and human-grade, and all of which can be delivered to your door on a subscription service. JustFoodForDogs has a few differentiating factors: The company is not new and has been making fresh dog meals since 2010. 

Some of its meals are the number-one recommended meals by veterinarians in a national survey. All of their meals are backed by peer-reviewed studies at major universities. And you don’t have to order a subscription—JustFoodForDogs can be ordered as a one-time purchase, and can even be shipped to a local store for pickup.

Let’s start with those options: If you choose a one-time delivery, you’ll pay a little more for the food as well as a $10 shipping fee. The box of frozen meals can be delivered to your home in an insulated box with dry ice—or to one of the company’s retail locations, or specific Petco stores around the country. If you choose the subscription model, the meals will be shipped to your home without a shipping fee, and at a slightly lower price.

That price? For smaller dogs, JustFoodForDogs can be as little as $2 per day. Medium dogs will be closer to $5 or $7 per day, depending on the flavor and formula you choose. Larger dogs will cost more.

Based on information you provide about your pup—his or her gender, age, weight, activity level, body shape and more—JustFoodForDogs will recommend one of their meal varieties for you to order. Their “Fresh Frozen” meals are made of human-grade meats and vegetables, cooked lightly in one of their exclusive kitchens before being frozen and shipped. These meals have the appearance of hamburger chunks mixed with vegetables—which they are, for the beef flavor. There are also fish, venison, chicken, lamb and turkey varieties.

Each meal is designed with veterinary nutritionists, and has been studied with 26-week in-home feeding trials in conjunction with California Polytechnic University in Pomona. The food’s digestibility has also been studied by scientists at the University of Illinois, who found that JustFoodForDogs’ meals were 40 percent more digestible than regular kibble.

The studies also found that all the JustFoodForDogs meals meet the nutritional level standards established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) for pet food by using companion dogs, not colony dogs.  

In addition to the “Fresh Frozen” meals, JustFoodForDogs offers a line of “Vet Support” meals which require a prescription from your vet. In a national survey of 16,000 veterinarians, these prescription meals were the number one veterinary recommended fresh food diet. The meals come in varieties to aid renal support, hepatic support, metabolic support, joint & skin support, and more.

JustFoodForDogs determines the right portion for your dog through the profile you build, but you do have to measure before feeding. The frozen packages come in 18 or 72-ounce packages, depending on your order, which you defrost. Your dog will then require—based on her daily nutritional needs—a certain number of ounces of that package each day. But you don’t have to do a ton of math—JustFoodForDogs gives you an amount of volume to scoop out. For instance, 12 ounces of one variety is also helpfully listed as two and 7/8 cups.

JustFoodForDogs has done studies on the effects of their foods, but fans of the food offer even more potential benefits: Reviewers say their picky pets gobble the meals up, have fewer skin and digestive issues, and the owners feel great about giving their dogs high-quality ingredients.

JustFoodfor Dogs is the only brand that cooks their fresh meals in kitchens that are open to the public. They are completely transparent and have won over many dog owners due to their honest approach. They even publish their own recipes in order to help dog owners with life-changing nutrition.

They are also the only brand that has a large dedicated veterinarian team with board-certified specialists in nutrition, dermatology and toxicology to make sure their meals help dogs with all their needs. JustFoodforDogs knows that your dog’s nutritional needs are key to your dog’s longevity and overall health. 

JustFoodForDogs offers fresh pet meals that are backed by scientific study—and provides specific feeding guidelines based on your pup’s weight, breed, age, body shape, and activity levels. And with the convenience of being able to subscribe or make a one-time purchase, 

JustFoodForDogs makes it easy to try fresh meals for your dog without a huge commitment. And if your dog doesn’t like their food, they’ll refund the purchase price (minus shipping fees).

How It Works

JustFoodForDogs makes frozen and shelf-stable meals for your dog using human-grade meats and vegetables—and can deliver them to your door on a subscription or one-time purchase, deliver them to a local store for pickup, or even be bought at certain retail stores around the country. These meals were formulated by veterinary nutritionists, and are backed by scientific studies, and the company provides a specific calorie count recommendation for your dog. 

Here’s how it works:

When you visit the JustFoodForDogs website and click the “Get Started” link, you’ll be guided through a short quiz to build a profile for your pet. You’ll enter your dog’s name, breed, birth month and year, gender, weight, and whether they’re spayed or neutered. 

You’ll also be asked about your “primary goal” in feeding—to boost wellness, achieve a healthy weight, reduce allergic reactions, improve digestion, eliminate picky eating or “establish puppy health.” You’ll list any allergies your dog has, and enter his or her body shape—skinny, “just right,” husky or chubby, based on helpful pictures—and activity level—“couch potato,” normal or high energy. 

Finally, you’ll answer two questions about your dog’s current diet: Whether he or she gets treats, and what you’re currently feeding your pooch—premium kibble, cheaper kibble, raw food, wet food or other “fresh” options.

When you’ve finished building your pet’s profile, JustFoodForDogs will recommend one of their recipes for you to try. Like more than half of American dogs, our five-year old mixed breed is slightly overweight. So for our 40-pound male, the site determined he should be eating 504 calories per day, and recommended their Fish & Sweet Potato “Fresh Frozen” meal. The alternatives presented were the Venison & Squash flavor and the prescription “Joint and Skin Support” meal.

Each meal is made of USDA human-grade meat, then mixed with vegetables, oils and a proprietary nutrient blend to comply with the nutritional level standards established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) for pet food. The “Fresh Frozen” meals are prepared in JustFoodForDogs’ exclusive kitchens, with the food being minimally cooked before being frozen. 

These kitchens also produce the company’s other varieties of food—“Vet Support” meals, which require a prescription from your vet, and “Pantry Fresh” meals that are cooked at low heat in their packaging to create a shelf-stable meal that requires no refrigeration without preservatives.

We stuck with the recommended Fish & Sweet Potato, and were given several price options: We could order two weeks of food as a one-time order for $139.75, a cost of $9.32 per day. This order would have a $10 flat shipping fee. Or, we could order with the company’s auto-ship program and get 35 percent off the order with free shipping—this would cost $90.84, or $6.06 per day.

If you choose the auto-ship option, you can have food delivered every week, every other week, every three weeks, every month or every two months. Future orders will be at five percent off the one-time price, and shipping will continue to be free.

Your pet’s specific nutritional needs will determine the amount you’ll feed in each meal, and so the price can be different for each dog. Smaller dogs can cost less than two dollars per day on meals delivered by JustFoodForDogs. The price can also be different based on the flavor you order and the size of the box the company is delivering.

For example, a “small” box of the Chicken & White Rice flavor, which contains seven packages of food weighing 18 ounces each, costs $55.65. A medium box, containing 21 packages, is $166.95. And a large box, containing seven packages of 72 ounces each, is $195.65. For our 40-pound dog, food in this flavor from the large box would cost $4.45 per day, while the medium and small boxes would cost $5.06 per day.

Whichever box of frozen food you choose will be shipped to your home in an insulated box packed with dry ice—or, if you prefer, in a bag with frozen gel packs to a local store where you can pick it up. JustFoodForDogs is available for pickup at their own retail locations, as well as at certain Petco stores across the country. In-store and curbside pickups are only available for one-time orders, not subscriptions.

When the box arrives at your home, most of the packages should be transferred to your freezer. You’ll cycle some into your refrigerator to defrost in a glass or plastic container, and then measure out the portion your dog needs. Our dog required 20 ounces of Fish & Sweet Potato food per day—but the company provided a helpful measurement of two and 7/8 cup so a scale was not needed.

Like other “fresh” food meals for dogs, JustFoodForDogs’ meals look like chopped up hamburger (or, in our case, fish burger) that’s been mixed with vegetables. That’s because that’s what’s in it: The company’s dedicated kitchens mix these ingredients, cook them minimally to reduce nutrient loss, and then freeze and package them for shipping. In addition to the protein and grain listed in each flavor’s name, the meals include vegetables like carrots, zucchini and spinach, as well as fish oils and a proprietary nutrient blend.

In the “Fresh Frozen” category, there are six varieties: 

  • Chicken & White Rice
  • Beef & Russet Potato
  • Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni
  • Fish & Sweet Potato
  • Lamb & Brown Rice
  • Venison & Squash

If you’ve ordered with auto-shipping, JustFoodForDogs will ship you new boxes according to a schedule you set—from once per week to once every two months. You can change your recipes or cancel your subscription any time.

If your dog doesn’t like JustFoodForDogs’ meals—or you’re not seeing a difference in their health—the company will provide you a full refund of the purchase price (but not shipping fees). 

JustFoodforDogs Recipes and Ingredients

JustFoodForDogs offers six different “Fresh Frozen” recipes, four different “Pantry Fresh” recipes, 11 recipes in its “Vet Support” line, as well as do-it-yourself kits for making your own homemade fresh meals.

The “Fresh Frozen” recipes are made of human-edible meats and vegetables, cooked in JustFoodForDogs’ exclusive kitchens. These meals include: 

  • Chicken & White Rice
  • Beef & Russet Potato
  • Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni
  • Fish & Sweet Potato
  • Lamb & Brown Rice
  • Venison & Squash 

Each of these meals is made of meat, vegetables, oils and a proprietary nutrient blend of neutraceuticals to round out the meal’s nutrition. These ingredients are cooked minimally—just enough to be safe, but not so much that the nutrients are cooked out of the food, according to the company—before being frozen, packaged and shipped to dog lovers.

The Chicken & White Rice flavor, for example, is made of chicken thighs, long-grain white rice, spinach, carrots, apples, chicken gizzards, chicken liver, with fish oil from Iceland for healthy fats and the JustFoodForDogs nutrient blend. All of the recipes can be viewed in detail on the JustFoodForDogs website.

“Pantry Fresh” meals are shelf-stable options that are made without preservatives, but can be kept in a cabinet without refrigeration for up to two years. The ingredients—meats and vegetables—are cooked at low heat under high pressure in their packaging to create this effect, the company says. Because they don’t require refrigeration, JustFoodForDogs suggests these meals for when you’re traveling with your dogs.

These shelf-stable meals come in four varieties: 

  • Chicken & White Rice
  • Beef & Russet Potato
  • Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni
  • Lamb & Brown Rice

Each is made from the same type of mix as the “Fresh Frozen” meals—human-grade meat and vegetables mixed with fish oils and a proprietary nutrient blend.

The Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni variety, for example, is made of ground turkey, turkey livers, whole wheat macaroni, carrots, zucchini, broccoli and cranberries, blended with cod liver oil and the JustFoodForDogs nutrient blend.

The company’s “Vet Support” line of meals is only available with a subscription from your vet. These meals come in varieties Just Food for Dogs renal support, hepatic support, metabolic support, joint & skin support, and more. In a national survey of 16,000 veterinarians, these prescription meals were the number one veterinary recommended fresh food diet.

If you’d like to make your own fresh meals, JustFoodForDogs also provides the recipes for its meals so you can cook for your dogs at home—you can purchase the company’s nutrient blends to mix with these meals to round out their nutrition. These blends are available in varieties for supplementing meals of chicken, beef, turkey, fish, lamb and venison.

All of these products were designed with veterinary nutritionists, and through a partnership with California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, they’ve been studied in 26-week home feeding trials. All of them meet the nutritional level standards established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) for pet food.

How Much Does JustFoodForDogs Cost?

JustFoodForDogs is unique among subscription fresh and raw pet food companies because there are multiple ways to buy: You can order the company’s meals on a subscription basis, where you’re auto-shipped more food whenever your pup’s about to run out. But you can also order just a single box—for a slightly higher cost and shipping fee—if there’s a flavor or meal you’d like to try out, or if you just want to see if fresh food is right for your dog. You can also buy and pick up JustFoodForDogs at actual, physical stores—both their own stores in California, as well as select Petco locations around the country.

Like other subscription pet foods, the price of JustFoodforDogs varies depending on the flavor or meat variety you choose. But because of the company’s different shipping options, the price can vary even more. 

For a “Fresh Frozen” variety of food like Chicken & White Rice, a “small” box, which contains seven packages of food weighing 18 ounces each, costs $55.65. A medium box of the same flavor, containing 21 packages, is $166.95. And a large box, containing seven packages of 72 ounces each, is $195.65. For our 40-pound dog, food in this flavor from the large box would cost $4.45 per day, while the medium and small boxes would cost $5.06 per day.

Other flavors, such as Fish & Sweet Potato, can cost more: The boxes cost the same, but our dog required more of this flavor each day—while a large box of Chicken & White Rice would last 44 days for a daily cost of $4.45 per day, the Fish flavor would cost $7.53 per day, and last just 26 days.

All of these prices are for one-time orders, and the price per day is determined by the weight, age, breed, body shape and activity level of your pet—as well as the goal you’ve set for his or her feeding. Shipping on the one-time order is $10. If you order with auto-shipping, though, the shipping fee is waived, and the first order is 33 percent off. For our dog, this brought the cost of the first shipment from $139.75 down to $90.84. Future orders on auto-ship are five percent off the one-time prices, and shipping remains free.

For smaller dogs, you can spend less than two dollars per day on meals delivered by JustFoodForDogs. Bigger dogs need bigger food, though: Our 40-pound pooch ranged from four dollars per day and up for feeding “Fresh Frozen.” (NOTE: $1.74 for a 10-pound mixed breed).  

If you choose JustFoodForDogs’ “Pantry Fresh” meals, which can be stored in a cabinet without refrigeration, you’ll spend a similar amount: A case of 12 of these meals is $54.95 for both the chicken and turkey flavors. This would feed a dog of up to 25 pounds for 12 days—a daily cost of $4.57 per day.

If you enroll in JustFoodForDogs’ auto-shipping subscription offer, your meals will be shipped periodically according to a schedule you choose: You can choose to receive boxes every week, every two weeks, every three weeks, every month or every two months. Deliveries are made in an insulated box packed with dry ice. 

When your order of “Fresh Frozen” meals arrives, the JustFoodForDogs meals should be placed in the freezer. Defrost them in the refrigerator the day before feeding in a glass or plastic container.

For the most part, JustFoodForDogs is more affordable than the other brands due to their mission based pricing. Sharing kitchens and having veterinary experts at the ready helps them to reduce their pricing. There is no middleman.

How Does It Compare?

There seem to be new options for “fresh” dog meals every day. Here’s how JustFoodForDogs measures up against the competition:

JustFoodForDogs FreshPet Select Ollie Nom Nom Sundays Air-Dried Dog Food
Human Grade Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Cost Per Day $3 About $2.58 $4 and up $2 and up About $9
Specialized Nutrition Yes No Yes Yes No
Money Back Guarantee Yes, minus shipping No Yes Yes, for first 30 days of food Yes
Fresh vegetables Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Shelf-Stable Options For Travel Yes No No No Yes
Independent Scientific Studies Yes No No Yes Yes

* Information based on a 40 pound dog.

Why We Love It: The Bottom Line

JustFoodForDogs offers fresh meals that can have your dog pooping 66 percent less than with processed kibble—sounds kind of gross, but that’s important! According to a study from the University of Illinois, the reduced feces production by dogs who were fed JustFoodForDogs’ meals was a result of absorbing more nutrients from the food. Less waste goes into dogs’ bodies with these fresh meals, so less waste comes out.

That study is a big part of why we love JustFoodForDogs: The company’s meals have lots of great reviews from happy customers, but they also back up their benefits claims with continued scientific study. Those studies show that a “fresh” diet, made of cooked, human-grade meats and vegetables, can help your dog live a happier, healthier life.

JustFoodForDogs makes these kinds of meals in their exclusive kitchens, and then tells you exactly how much to feed your dog based on your pet’s weight, age, breed, body shape and activity level. And they make it easy to try their food—with a one-time delivery purchase—or make the switch completely with a subscription service.

Like other pet food subscription services, the meals are shipped frozen to your house at time intervals you determine, and at a lower cost than for one-time purchases—your first order is 33 percent off. Unlike other pet food subscriptions, though, JustFoodForDogs will let one-time users ship to a retail location for pickup, and also has shelf-stable—but still preservative-free—options for when you’re traveling without a fridge.

The best part? It’s guaranteed. If your dog doesn’t have improved health, or just doesn’t like the food, you can return it for a full refund (minus shipping fees).

About JustFoodForDogs

Shawn Buckley started cooking homemade meals for his dog, Simon, when he discovered what he said were “misleading labels, dangerous chemical preservatives and disgusting ‘ingredients’” that were in mainstream dog foods. He launched JustFoodForDogs in 2010 to give other dog owners the type of fresh meals he found made a difference for his own dogs. The company is headquartered in Los Alamitos, California.

Reviews

Nicola

After a 1.5 month bout of diarrhea we switched Dozer to JFFD fish sweet potato recipe and he has been thriving ever since! His coat is shiny, he has nice firm poop, he loves his meal times, and loves watching me make his meals! His dementia symptoms are almost gone…this food has really been a big turn around for Dozers health. I wish the diy kit came in a larger packet…one can lasts us about 3 wks…it’s been over a year since we started this diet and it’s wonderful for Dozer. Our vet approves too! I buy the ingredients fresh and double or triple the recipe, freezing it in Tupperware containers for easy recipe-heating…he was a bit on the large side, and this diet has helped him go from 95 lbs to a much healthier 74lbs…he has a knee injury from 2 years ago, so the weight loss is wonderful for his mobility!

Ryan

My neighbor’s dog Riley is 12 years old and lately has not been eating. I told them they should try JustFoodForDogs. I ordered Riley a few of the chicken and rice Pantry Fresh and the rest is history.

Candy

I have a 15yo chihuahua who was hit by a car just before I got him and paralyzed his back 2 years after I got him. He’s been doing great but since those incidences he’s been very achey and will bite if you pick him up the wrong way (which is basically every which way you can). His kidneys were starting to hurt on NSAIDS and he was never a fan of kibble (on account of having horrible teeth since I got him 9 years ago) and since he’s started this food his aches have gone down significantly and he acts more puppy-like and playful. He still struggles some morning, particularly in the cold days, but his hair is healthy and his pep is back in his step. So very happy both my old dogs are on this, particularly him.

Paula

Dandruff disappeared within a week of using. My 5month Pomeranian suffered severe dry flaky, dandruff skin. Within a week of using the recommended amount for his weight.

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